How to Make Easy Pumpkin Protein Bars

September 16, 2014

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School is in full swing and the weather seems to have gotten the memo. Rain and spells of cooler temperature make it hard not to shift my mind towards fall.

I haven’t done much baking this summer because it’s been way too hot to turn on the oven, and trying to bake egg-free is still intimidating for me (Todd is highly allergic to eggs).

But we recently had friends over, and although it was a warmer night, the sound and smell of pumpkin enticed me to turn on the oven. I found what seemed to be an easy recipe for vegan pumpkin bars. It turned out great and every body seemed to enjoy it. You can find it here.

As I made it, I cut down on the chocolate chips and noticed that the author recommended this bar as a suitable breakfast option. Well, that’s for each person to decide, but it got me thinking.

I bet I could play with this recipe so that it had more protein and less carbs. Protein is vital for building muscle. Fewer carbs means fewer extra pounds to carry around.

Behold, the Vanilla Pumpkin Protein Bar! Suitable for breakfast, as a post-workout snack, or as an on-the-go treat (gluten-free and 100% vegan).

Again, I am all about easy, healthy, great tasting recipes, especially ones that are grab-and-go. It seems no matter how soon after eating we leave the house, our little one gets hungry when we’re out and about. Now, if I can just keep Todd away from these, I plan on freezing them and taking them with us on our plane ride to Miami. πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Protein Bars Recipe

Servings: 15
Prep Time:
10 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Nutrition: 17g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 8g sugar, 2g fiber, 2g fat (per serving)

(Just by adding the protein, I tripled the amount of protein per serving. I also cut the carbs by almost half, by lessening the oatmeal and chocolate chips. Not too shabby for an experiment!)

Ingredients

Don’t let all the ingredients scare you. The hardest and most time-consuming part is measuring all the ingredients out, and I got our (almost) 2 year old daughter to help me out.

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  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 2 scoops or Β½ cup Vega Vanilla Sport Protein (I’m sure you can use any protein mix, just make sure it’s healthy)
  • 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • Β½ tsp baking soda
  • ΒΌ tsp salt
  • 1 ΒΌ tsp cinnamon
  • β…› tsp nutmeg
  • 1 sprinkle of all spice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Β½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Β½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Blend oats in a food processor or mixer until finely ground. Ensure there are no chunks.

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3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together ground oats, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice).

4. In a smaller bowl, mix together pumpkin,vanilla extract, applesauce, sugar and oil.

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5. Combine wet ingredients with dry.

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6. Place pumpkin mixture in a non-stick pan (the smaller the pan, the thicker the bar; I used a 9×13). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until mixture is golden brown and comes out clean.

7. Enjoy! Eat warm or enjoy later by storing in seal-tight bag in the refrigerator.

My only regret is that I didn’t make a double batch. These were absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making these sooner rather than later.

What are some of your favorite fall treats? Let me know in the comments!

– Allison

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